Chapter 7: Early Twentieth Century
and Modernism

F. Scott Fitzgerald
1896-1940

© Paul P. Reuben
June 23, 2014
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Outside Links: | FSF Biography | FSF & Zelda Background | U. of So. Carolina FSF Centenary Page |

Page Links:| Primary Works | Selected Bibliography 2000-Present | Study Questions | MLA Style Citation of this Web Page |

| A Brief Biography |

Site Links: | Chap. 7: Index | Alphabetical List | Table Of Contents | Home Page |


Source: 1995 US Postal Service

Considered today as one of the major prose stylist of the twentieth century, Fitzgerald celebrates the boom of the 1920s and the crash of the 1930s. His themes combine the hollowness of the American worship of riches and the never-ending dream of love, splendor, and glory.

Primary Works

This Side of Paradise, 1920; Flappers and Philosophers, 1921; The Beautiful and the Damned, 1922; Tales of the Jazz Age, 1922; The Vegetable, Or from the Postman to President (satirical play), 1923; The Great Gatsby, 1925; All the Sad Young Men, 1926; Tender is the Night, 1934; Taps At Reveille, 1935; The Last Tycoon (unfinished) ed. Edmund Wilson, 1941; The Crack-Up ed. by Edmund Wilson, 1945.

The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Bruccoli, Matthew J. and others (eds.). Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2003.

F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Marketplace: The Auction and Dealer Catalogues, 1935-2006. Bruccoli, Matthew J. ed. Columbia, SC: U of South Carolina P; 2009.

| Top |Selected Bibliography 2000-Present

Assadi, Jamal. Acting, Rhetoric, and Interpretation in Selected Novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Saul Bellow. NY: Peter Lang, 2006.

Berman, Ronald. Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway: Language and Experience. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2003.

- - -. Modernity and Progress: Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Orwell. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2005.

Berman, Ronald. Fitzgerald's Mentors: Edmund Wilson, H. L. Menken, and Gerald Murphy. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2012.

Berret, Anthony J. Music in the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Unheard Melodies. Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2013.

Beuka, Robert. American Icon: Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in Critical and Cultural Context. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011.

Bruccoli, Matthew J. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. PS3511 I9 Z566

- - -. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. 2nd Rev. edition. Columbia: U of S. Carolina P, 2002.

Bruccoli, Matthew J., Judith S. Baughman. eds. The Sons of Maxwell Perkins: Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Their Editor. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2004.

Bucker, Park. The Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald at the University of South Carolina. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2004.

Canterbery, E. Ray, and Thomas D. Birch. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Under the Influence. St. Paul: Paragon House, 2006.

Cerasulo, Tom. Authors Out Here: Fitzgerald, West, Parker, and Schulberg in Hollywood. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2010.

Churchwell, Sarah. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby. NY: Penguin, 2014.

Donaldson, Scott. Fitzgerald & Hemingway: Works and Days. NY: Columbia UP, 2009.

Donaldson, Scott. Fool for Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012.

Galow, Timothy W. Writing Celebrity: Stein, Fitzgerald, and the Modern(ist) Art of Self-Fashioning. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Glenday, Michael K. F. Scott Fitzgerald. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Grissom, Candace U. Fitzgerald and Hemingway on Film: A Critical Study of the Adaptations, 1924-2013. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014.

Irwin, John T. F. Scott Fitzgerald's Fiction: 'An Almost Theatrical Innocence'. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2014.

Kundu, Gautam. Fitzgerald and the Influence of Film: The Language of Cinema in the Novels. efferson, NC : McFarland, 2008.

Margolies, Edward. New York and the Literary Imagination: The City in Twentieth Century Fiction and Drama. Jefferson, NC : McFarland, 2008.

West, James L. W., III. The Perfect Hour: The Romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King, His First Love. NY: Random House, 2005.

| Top |F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940): A Brief Biography
A Student Project by Garmon Lau

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born September 24, 1896 in St. Paul Minnesota. He was named after “a remote cousin of his mother” Mary McQuillan (Mizener 5). Scott’s father Edward Fitzgerald and his mother were “both Catholic and of Irish descent.” (Meyers 1) They both came from different social backgrounds. Scott’s mother Mary came from a background where money meant position, stability and security. While on his father’s side breeding is most important like “right instincts, good manners, the need for honor, courtesy and courage.” (Mizener 6) Most of Scott’s attitude and manners came from his father and the insecurities of society came from his mother.

         Scott is an only child, the only child who survived. He had two older sisters, before he was born, Mary and Louise who “suddenly died during an epidemic, at the ages of one and three” while his mother was pregnant with him (Meyers 5). Four yeas after he was born, his mother had another baby who only lasted an hour after birth. His mother of course was devastated with so many losses in her life. Scott grew up spoiled with a high society attitude. Although he was the only one who lived “he became a sickly and much coddled child” until in 1901 his little sister Annabel was born (Meyers 6).

         At the age of twelve Scott attended St. Paul Academy, a nonsectarian school. “During his three years there, he energetically began his literary apprenticeship.” (Meyers 11) He was not a popular guy in school. He would openly criticize one’s fault much like his mother would. During this time Scott’s first published story is "The Mystery of the Raymond Mortage" in 1909. He never did well in school; instead of studying and doing homework he wrote and every free time he had he would write. Because of his neglect in schoolwork his parents took him out of St. Paul and sent him to a boarding school in New Jersey called Newman. Scott was as unpopular there as he was at St. Paul. One reason besides his attitude towards others was the fact that he was the “poorest boy in a rich boys’ school.” (Mizener 13) Besides his interest in writing Scott was a football fanatic.

         Scott’s reason to go to Princeton was not just the Triangle Club, but because “it was the great Stan White’s touchdown run against Harvard in 1911 that won him to Princeton.” (14) Princeton at the time was still an undergraduate school. There were many prestigious clubs that could determine one’s social status. The Triangle Club was one in which Scott tried really hard to stay. This club put on many shows that Scott has written the lyrics to.

         Soon enough Scott’s pattern of neglecting schoolwork was seen again when he did not pass half of his classes. This made him ineligible for any outside events. Scott left Princeton for Fort Leavenworth during World War One. He attended Princeton from 1913 to 1917. At Princeton Scott fell in love with Ginevra King; she was like a fantasy fulfilled for Scott but unfortunately “Ginevra was tiring of Scott’s importunities” so they separated (Mizener 32). A year after he left Princeton he fell in love with Zelda Sayre; she was the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. During their courtship Scott desperately tired to make a name for him and enough money to marry Zelda. He went back to his home in Minnesota to work on his novel The Romantic Egoist which was turned down two years ago. Scott revised it and turned it in to be published. This was the start of his fame. After The Romantic Egoist was published he wrote nine more stories that sold just because of the acceptance of his novel. On March 26, 1920, “This Side of Paradise was published. It hit like a bombshell.” (Meyers 46)  Of course during his success he married Zelda on April 3, 1920.  In the spring of 1922 “Zelda discovered she was pregnant and Fitzgerald rushed The Beautiful and Damned to completion so that they could take a quick trip abroad that summer” to Europe (Mizener 58). After their trip they went back to St. Paul, Minnesota to visit and for the first time Zelda met Scott’s parents. On October 20, 1921 Frances Scott Fitzgerald was born. His daughter Frances also known as Scottie was an only child because Zelda had an infection that damaged her reproductive organs.

         During the years when they moved to Europe in May Scott began to start on his next book The Great Gatsby. While working on his novel his marriage to Zelda was in a awful state. Zelda had an affair with a Frenchman who only wanted a fling while Zelda wanted more. After the affair ended Scott won Zelda’s passion back and his book The Great Gatsby was published April, 1925.

         After The Great Gatsby, in 1930 Zelda was admitted to an insane asylum for schizophrenia. She was released in 1932 but readmitted herself back into the asylum. There she spent the rest of her days. A year later in December 1933 Scott completed Tender is the Night. Scott’s last work was The Last Tycoon. He died of an heart attack December 21, 1940. His wife Zelda died eight years later in a fire at the High land Hospital in Asheville.

         F. Scott Fitzgerald as he was known has a little over 15 web sites as found in Yahoo search.  His primary works are This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon. He wrote many other short stories and magazine articles but what he is most known for is The Great Gatsby.

Works Cited

Meyers, Jeffrey. Scott Fitzgerald A Biography. NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

Mizener, Arthur. Scott Fitzgeral and his world. NY: C.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1972.

Study Questions

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald has been called one of the great stylists in American fiction. Discuss the prose style, structure, and point of view in "Babylon Revisited."

2. In Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, the narrator/protagonist recalls his friend Julian, a pseudonym for Fitzgerald, and his friend's fascination with the rich. Hemingway writes, "He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't it wrecked him just as much as any other thing that wrecked him." Consider Hemingway's description of Fitzgerald as an interpretation of what happens to Dexter Green in "Winter Dreams." What gets "wrecked" for Dexter?

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 7: F. Scott Fitzgerald." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL:http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap7/fitzgerald.html (provide page date or date of your login).
 

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